Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Made Found A New Word

I wish I'd made it.
Secular Fundamentalist
Yeah, I had to comment on it, too, after reading one twit's comment:
There's no equivalence here - the Religious Right was for ending the separation of Church and State and the opposition was for maintaining that most fundamental aspect of our Constitution - freedom from religion.
Did I read that right? "that most fundamental aspect of our Constitution ... freedom from religion."????

Sadly, I did. So I responded ...

I'm scouring my Constitution here for anything about a fundamental "freedom from religion". Nope, not seeing anything. There's stuff in the Declaration of Independence about being "endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights", "the Laws of Nature and the Laws of God", and then this bit in the first amendment that says that Congress (that is, the U.S. Congress) can pass no law respecting an Establishment of Religion (such as the Church of England, the Episcopalian Church, the Catholic Church) ... to make sure that our representative government would remain influenced only by the people and not some Religious Advisor. If "The People" happen to be religious, that's a different story. Those values can influence laws. I know that's not how it's been interpreted in the last century, but there you have it.

On Gay Marriage -- here's the deal. The "right" to marry does not come from the Government. Marriage is not a government institution. As far as I'm concerned, gays can do whatever they want and call it whatever they want. But I don't want a law that tells me that I have to consider it "marriage" whether I do or not.

Contract? Sign one. Same with heterosexual couples. Works for me. Forcing people who don't consider it "marriage" to consider it "marriage" is, in fact, forcing your values on them. Admit it.
And then, of course, there's always this:
Now I ain't sayin' ya gotta be religious. But it certainly doesn't sound to me as if our founders had a government in mind that had freedom from religion as a fundamental aspect.
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."— John Adams, October 11, 1798

I'm gonna expoundarate a little here. I think I finally get the what's behind the exaggeration that the Christian Right is foisting it's values on everyone else. It really boils down to two things ... abortion, and gay "marriage". They'll add a third now, which they call "stem cell research" -- but that's an intentional overstatement. This issue really boils down to the abortion issue, because what the religious right is really opposed to is embryonic stem cell research, and even that has never been illegal. Federal funding for it, beyond existing lines -- has been. But in and of itself, any private funder has always been able to donate to embryonic stem cell research, new lines or not. And the religious right, as far as I can tell, has never been against non-embryonic stem cell research. But it all gets lumped together by the secular fundamentalists as "stem cell research", and they want you to believe that the religious right is irrationally opposed to all of it to marginalize their position.

And last I checked abortion is still legal through all 9 months of pregnancy, and our illustrious president is even fine with leaving a baby who lived through a botched abortion to die outside the womb. So I don't see as to where the Religious Right has really had much effect on it. And as far as the stem cell research goes, they managed to outlaw federal funding for new lines of embryonic stem cells. We do get to tell the government what they can and can't do with our money. And a ton of that money comes from people who think abortion, the ultimate source of embryonic stem cells ... is murder.

The gay issue is a bit different, since there probably some states that still have sodomy laws on the books which would technically make it illegal to be a "practicing" gay. Of course, there's also laws on the books in a lot of places that would make a lot of stuff heterosexual people do illegal as well.

But all of these problems are problems only because of government intrusions. As I said, marriage is not a government institution. So the government defining marriage just shouldn't be a part of the equation. Government should also not be involved in medical research. If it weren't, people would not have to worry about their tax dollars going to support things that they believe -- and the Constitution says it will not inhibit the free exercise of their religion -- makes them an accessory to murder. Wanna fund abortion? Donate to your favorite abortion charity yourself!

Besides, it's really not a stretch, what Christians (and others!) believe concerning abortion. As I've said before, the fetus is undeniably human, and undeniably alive. So why is murder not a religious question, but abortion is? After all, one of the 10 commandments is, "thou shalt not kill". Does that make murder a religious opinion? "Thou shalt not steal." Does that make theft a religious opinion? "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." Does that make libel a religious opinion?

I think it's much more of an extremist view to reject any restrictions on killing this living human thing, any time, for any reason than what we see from the religious right -- and yet any attempt to do so is met with howls of protest, ridicule, and ... dare I say it ... intolerance and hate.

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